What to expect when you visit a chiropractor or osteopath

Chiropractors and osteopaths are specialists in diagnosing and treating all types of musculoskeletal conditions (problems with the joints, ligaments, tendons and nerves of the body) from backneckshoulder & arm pain to hip knee painosteoarthritis and pain associated with pregnancy & childcare.

You do not need a GP referral to visit – simply call us on 0117 9723518 to make an appointment.

To find out more about what to expect when you visit a chiropractor or osteopath for an initial consultation or treatment session, including what our current Covid-19 safety measures are, read on.


The government has now removed the requirement for face masks in healthcare settings, unless there is the risk of splashing or known COVID infection. As such, facemasks are no longer compulsory in the clinic, however, should you wish to wear a mask when you visit, our practitioners will also wear one during your appointment. Our practitioners may also wear facemasks on an ad hoc basis if they deem it appropriate / necessary during an appointment. 

Patient and practitioner health and safety are our absolute priority, so we will also continue to maintain the high levels of safety and hygiene that have ensured our clinic is a safe space throughout the pandemic. These include: 

- carefully following the advice from Public Health England (PHE)
- wearing PPE in accordance with PHE guidance
- disinfecting the clinic between patients
- offering ‘Telehealth’ appointments for those who can’t or don’t want to visit in person
- screening patients for symptoms or exposure to Covid-19 via our Patient Registration form
- reducing time spent in clinic by asking patients to fill out our patient registration form online, in advance

These measures will continue to be adapted as the government guidelines change.

You can help us by:

- Completing the patient registration / consent forms we send in your appointment confirmation email before you arrive at the clinic
- Arriving on time and not early - we will be disinfecting the clinic
- Using the hand sanitiser provided on entering and leaving the clinic

Also, please remember that if you are self-isolating or have Covid-19 symptoms (high temperature or fever, new or continuous cough or loss or alteration to taste or smell), you should not attend the clinic until you are either out of isolation or feel well enough to do so.

Initial consultation

On your first visit to the clinic you will be given the opportunity to explain your symptoms and how they are affecting you.  Your practitioner will discuss these with you and investigate the cause with neurological and orthopaedic tests.  Xrays and MRI scans may be ordered if needed.

You will then be given a diagnosis, which will be carefully explained to you and your treatment options will be discussed.  A suggested management plan will be drawn up tailored to your comfort and needs, and mindful of any concerns you may have.

Please ensure you fill out the online Patient Registration Form – a link to which will be included in your appointment confirmation email – prior to your initial consultation appointment.  

Please note that initial consultations can be carried out via our 'Telehealth' video or phone call service if you can't or don't want to visit the clinic in person.


Initial treatment

The initial focus of chiropractic or osteopathic treatment is pain relief, after which the emphasis will be on restoring normal function and alignment to your body by correcting the underlying problem. Our safe and gentle treatment techniques range from classic mobilisations and manipulations of stiff joints, muscles and tendons, to stretching and rehab exercises, cranial therapy and acupuncture for tension and pain. All treatment programmes are tailored to individual needs and we are always happy to discuss any concerns you may have in advance. Following treatment, you will be given advice and rehabilitation to help prevent the problem reoccurring. 

Follow up treatments

Your chiropractor or osteopath will continue to re-assess and treat the complaint until it is fully resolved. Once resolved, where appropriate, we would then recommend patients continue to see us at regular intervals for maintenance treatments to help keep their bodies functioning at their best. However, this would always be at the patient’s discretion.

What to wear

The best clothing to wear for an initial consultation is something that allows free movement and stretching, so loose clothing or tracksuit bottoms / leggings and a sports top are ideal. You may be asked to remove some outer layers of clothing if they are likely to hinder our assessment of your movement or posture, so please wear appropriate underwear. However, please note gowns are available should you need one. Assessments are carried out in a private treatment room, and confidentiality and discretion will be observed at all times.

Want to know more?

We hope that this gives you a good idea of what to expect when you visit a chiropractor or osteopath at the Bristol Back Pain Clinic. If you do have any other questions, you may find our FAQs page useful, as it features answers to some of the most common questions we’re asked about treatment at the clinic such as what’s the difference between a chiropractor and an osteopath?. Alternatively, please just give us a call on 0117 9723518 and we’d be happy to answer any additional questions you may have.

Registered with most major health insurance companies